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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Empowering Patients with Direct Education


Rural Provider PTSD Toolkit

Empowering Patients with Direct Education
Row of mailboxes in front of a green field
  A novel and innovative approach to improving the care of rural populations is direct-to-consumer (DTC) education. Similar to DTC approaches used by pharmaceutical companies, direct mailing of health education empowers patients to consider treatment risks and benefits in the neutral unhurried atmosphere of their own home.
Based on the EMPOWER clinical trial (Eliminating Medications through Patient Ownership of End Results) that reduced benzodiazepine use, VA has developed educational booklets for elderly Veterans prescribed benzodiazepines and for Veterans with PTSD prescribed chronic benzodiazepines.50

Booklets are designed to ensure that patients understand the risks of their current treatment, treatment alternatives available to them, and ways to talk with their providers about their options. Booklets and an implementation guide are available from the VA Academic Detailing Service.

Several DTC infographic clinic waiting room posters on PTSD and insomnia treatment options and medication risks have also been created and distributed nationally. The posters which can be downloaded are designed to be attractive, informative, and to stimulate viewer self-assessment. The posters also assist clinical shared decision making between Veterans and their health care providers.

PTSD Information Voice Mail: (802) 296-6300
Also see: VA Mental Health